The POLISH ALPHABET is the script of the Polish language , the basis for the Polish system of orthography . It is based on the Latin alphabet but includes certain letters with diacritics : the _kreska_ or acute accent (_ć_, _ń_, _ó_, _ś_, _ź_); the overdot or _kropka_ (_ż_); the tail or _ogonek _ (_ą_, _ę_); and the stroke (_ł_). The letters _q_, _v_ and _x_, which are used only in foreign words, are frequently not considered part of the Polish alphabet. However, prior to the standardization of the Polish language, the letter "x" was sometimes used in place of "ks".
* 1 Letters * 2 Names of letters * 3 Alphabetical order * 4 Computer encoding * 5 See also * 6 Further reading * 7 References * 8 External links
When Q, V and X are excluded, there are 32 letters in the Polish alphabet: 9 vowels and 23 consonants .
The following table lists the letters of the alphabet, their Polish names (see also Names of letters below), the Polish phonemes which they usually represent, rough English (or other) equivalents to the sounds of those phonemes, and other possible pronunciations. Diacritics are shown for the sake of clarity. For more information about the sounds, see Polish phonology .
Upper case Lower case POLISH NAME USUAL VALUE Rough English (or other) equivalent OTHER VALUES
A A _a_ /ä / lArge More front between palatal or palatalized consonants
Ą ą _ą_ /ɔ̃ / nasal _o_ as OWn or French _an_ in frANçais or _en_ in rENdez-vous , , ; merges with /ɔ / before /w / (see _Nasal vowels _)
B B _be_ /b / Bed when devoiced
C C _ce_ /t̪͡s̪ / piTS if voiced . For _ch, ci, cz_ see Digraphs
Ć ć _cie_ /t͡ɕ / CHeap (alveolo-palatal ) if voiced
D D _de_ /d̪ / Dog before /d͡ʐ /; when devoiced ; before /t͡ʂ /. For _dz_ etc. see Digraphs
E E _e_ /ɛ / bEd between palatal or palatalized consonants
Ę ę _ę_ /ɛ̃ / nasal _e_ , , ; merges with /ɛ / before /w / and often word-finally (see _Nasal vowels _)
F F _ef_ /f / Fingers if voiced
G G _gie_ /ɡ / Go when devoiced . For _gi_ see Digraphs
H H _ha_ /x / Scots _loCH_ if voiced , may be glottal in a small number of dialects. For _ch_ and _(c)hi_ see Digraphs
I I _i_ /i / mEEt before a consonant; marks palatization of the preceding consonant before a vowel (see _Spelling rules _)
J J _jot_ /j / Yes
K K _ka_ /k / King if voiced . For _ki_ see Digraphs
L L _el_ /l / Light May be instead in eastern dialects
Ł ł _eł_ /w / Will May be instead in eastern dialects
M M _em_ /m / Men before labiodental consonants
N N _en_ /n̪ / Not before /t͡ʂ d͡ʐ/; can be before /k ɡ/. For _ni_ see Digraphs
Ń ń _eń_ /ɲ̟ / caNYon (alveolo-palatal ) Can be in syllable coda
O O _o_ /ɔ / British English lOng between palatal or palatalized consonants
Ó ó _ó_ or _o z kreską_ or _u zamknięte_ /u / bOOt between palatal or palatalized consonants
P P _pe_ /p / sPot if voiced
R R _er_ /r / trilled _R_ Often in fast speech. For _rz_ see Digraphs
S S _es_ /s̪ / Sea For _sz, si_ see Digraphs
Ś ś _eś_ /ɕ / SHeep (alveolo-palatal ) (cf. Ź) if voiced
T T _te_ /t̪ / sTart before /t͡ʂ /; if voiced ; before /d͡ʐ /.
U U _u_ or _u zwykłe_ or _u otwarte_ /u / bOOt between palatal or palatalized consonants, sometimes after vowels
W W _wu_ /v / Vow when devoiced
Y Y _y_ or _igrek_ /ɘ̟ / short _i_ as in bIt
Z Z _zet_ /z̪ / Zoo when devoiced . For digraphs see Digraphs
Ź ź _ziet_ /ʑ / viSIon (alveolo-palatal ) when devoiced . For _dź_ see Digraphs
Ż ż _żet_ or _zet z kropką_ /ʐ / viSIon when devoiced . For _dż_ see Digraphs
^ Sequences /t.t͡ʂ d.d͡ʐ/ may be pronounced as geminates . ^ /ɘ/ is most often transcribed as /ɨ/, sometimes as /ɪ/.
The letters _q_ (named: _ku_), _v_ (named: _fau_), and _x_ (named _iks_) do not belong to the Polish alphabet, but are used in some foreign words and commercial names. In loanwords they are often replaced by _kw_, _w_, and _ks_, respectively (as in _kwarc_ "quartz", _weranda_ "veranda", _ekstra_ "extra").
For digraphs and other rules about spelling and the corresponding pronunciations, see Polish orthography .
NAMES OF LETTERS
The spoken Polish names of the letters are given in the table under Letters above. The additional letters Q, V and X are named _ku_, _fau_ and _iks_.
The names of the letters are not normally written out in the way shown above, except as part of certain lexicalized abbreviations, such as Pekao (or PeKaO), the name of a bank, which represents the spoken form of the abbreviation P.K.O.
Some letters may be referred to in alternative ways, often consisting of just the sound of the letter. For example, Y may be called _y_ rather than _igrek_ (from "Greek i ").
When giving the spelling of words, certain letters may be said in more emphatic ways to distinguish them from other identically pronounced characters. For example, H may be referred to as _samo h_ ("h alone") to distinguish it from CH _(ce ha)_. The letter Ż may be called _żet_ (or _zet_) _z kropką_ (" Ż with a dot") to distinguish it from RZ _(er zet)_. The letter U may be called _u otwarte_ ("open u", a reference to its graphical form), to distinguish it from Ó, which is sometimes called _u zamknięte_ ("closed u") or _o kreskowane_ ("dashed o").
Polish alphabetical ordering uses the order of letters as in the table under Letters above. Q, V and X, if present, take their usual positions in the Latin alphabet (after P, U and W respectively).
Note that (unlike in languages such as French ) Polish letters with diacritics are treated as fully independent letters in alphabetical ordering. For example, _być_ comes after _bycie_. The diacritic letters also have their own sections in dictionaries (words beginning with _ć_ are not usually listed under _c_).
Digraphs are not given any special treatment in alphabetical ordering. For example, _ch_ is treated simply as _c_ followed by _h_, and not as a single letter as in Czech .
There are several systems for encoding the
UPPER CASE Ą Ć Ę Ł Ń Ó Ś Ź Ż
UNICODE U+0104 U+0106 U+0118 U+0141 U+0143 U+00D3 U+015A U+0179 U+017B
RESULT Ą Ć Ę Ł Ń Ó Ś Ź Ż
LOWER CASE ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ź ż
UNICODE U+0105 U+0107 U+0119 U+0142 U+0144 U+00F3 U+015B U+017A U+017C
RESULT ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ź ż
For other encodings, see Polish code pages .
A common test sentence containing all the Polish diacritic letters is the nonsensical _Zażółć gęślą jaźń_ ("Yellowize the mind with/of a gusle ").